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Hermantown woman charged with murder after Moose Lake overdose death

Dawn Marie Clemons

A Hermantown woman is charged with third-degree murder for her role in the overdose death of a Moose Lake woman in August.

Dawn Marie Clemons, 39, was charged in Sixth Judicial District Court after Leah Michele Olsen, 38, was found dead Aug. 5.

According to the criminal complaint, Olsen's roommate discovered her unresponsive on the floor of their home at about 6:30 p.m. Aug. 5. The roommate told the Moose Lake Police Department he had last seen Olsen alive at about 4 p.m. He said something was "off" with Olson and he suspected she had been using methamphetamine.

The roommate left at about 4 p.m. to go to a relative's home and returned to find Olsen on the floor. He called 911 and began performing chest compressions until first responders arrived.

The MLPD retrieved Olsen's cellphone from a family member who found it while gathering clothing for Olsen's funeral.

A Bureau of Criminal Apprehension analysis of the phone found a number of text messages between Olsen and Clemons in the early morning of Aug. 5 referencing a drug deal between the two. A search of Olsen's home also found drug paraphernalia, including a snorting straw and a mirror with a crystalline substance that tested positive for meth.

Police officers met with Clemons at the office of her probation officer Aug. 9. Clemons said Olsen contacted her and asked her to bring meth and syringes. Clemons said she obtained approximately 1 gram of meth, valued at about $60.

Clemons brought the drugs and two syringes to Olsen's home, where the pair then used the meth intravenously. Olsen gave Clemons $28 and some clothes in exchange for the drugs, according to the complaint.

Clemons reportedly told police that Olsen asked her, "What did you give me?," immediately after injecting the meth and became paranoid. Clemons said she remained at the residence until later in the morning and left shortly after Olsen's roommate arrived.

The final report from the medical examiner Aug. 21 determined meth toxicity as the cause of Olsen's death.

A BCA analysis of Clemons' phone showed the phone pinged off a tower in Duluth at 2:21 a.m. It later pinged at 5:51 a.m. and 8:16 a.m. in Moose Lake.

If convicted, Clemons faces up to 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $40,000.

She is scheduled for an omnibus hearing in Carlton County at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 19.

Jamey Malcomb

Jamey Malcomb has been a reporter for the Pine Journal since October 2018. He previously worked as a reporter for the Lake County News-Chronicle from 2015-2018. Malcomb is a native of North Carolina and holds a bachelor's degree in English and history from the George Washington University and a master's degree in education from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Malcomb moved to Minnesota in July 2012 and worked as a sports clerk and news assistant at the Duluth News Tribune. 

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